A few months ago, a little metal structure appeared outside of the café at the Glassell School of Art: the Museum’s new Little Free Library. Visitors, students, and all passersby are invited to take a book and leave a book for free.
A Place for All
The free exchange of books resonates with the Museum’s mission to be a place for all to learn and engage with the arts. A member of the staff acts as library “steward,” making sure the library is clean, neat, and replenished often. For a while, that was me. I tried to stock books published by the MFAH, books relevant to programming, or books I just plain like.
Conveniently, the Museum is a great place to read, and you’ll find excellent places to curl up with a book from the Little Free Library throughout the campus. Some of my favorites include:
● Hirsch Library Reading Room
The Museum’s Hirsch Library is free and open to the public, and the helpful reference librarians can find pretty much any printed resource about visual arts there ever was. The periodicals section is excellent!
● South Lawn
Facing Mecom Fountain on Main Street, the Museum’s South Lawn is usually empty and calm, and it offers some excellent tree trunks to lean against. On soggy days, best to opt for the facade of the original Museum building, where you can nestle in between the Greek columns.
● Audrey Jones Beck Building
On the second level, the beautiful light from the atrium and the comfy couch by the elevator make this my favorite indoor spot to take a break. For a more private space, gallery 205 is a cozy nook, surrounded by Impressionist paintings.
More Options for Book Lovers
The Museum offers a number of other resources for book lovers. The Kinder Foundation Education Center has a large collection of books to keep the whole family entertained. Selections for the MFAH Book Club use themes from the text to inspire conversations about art. The History Book Club holds discussions about life in America and Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. And Hirsch Library’s exhibitions feature rare book treasures from the collection.
Take a Book | Share a Book
Keep an eye on the Little Free Library for new contributions from the staff and the surrounding community, and leave a book of your own! Children’s books, a favorite novel, zines, or artist’s books—all are welcome and appreciated here.